* Plant starts output one month ahead of schedule
* Brings First Solar capacity in Germany to reach 500 MW
NEW YORK, June 8 First Solar Inc (FSLR.O), the
world's largest solar company by market value, said on
Wednesday its new factory in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany,
had begun producing solar modules one month ahead of schedule.
The factory, its second in the city, will continue ramping
up capacity at its four production lines during the third
quarter, and bring First Solar's thin-film solar module
production capacity at the two plants to 500 megawatts.
Solar power has been one of the fastest growing forms of
energy, but it remains tiny compared to fossil fuels and relies
on subsidies in most regions to compete with more traditional
forms of energy.
Manufacturing capacity of solar modules has climbed in
recent months although cuts to subsidies in Europe have driven
prices for modules down sharply, pressuring profit margins for
most solar makers and weighing on share prices.
First Solar's shares have dropped nearly 9.5 percent so far
this year, and closed at $117.86 on Tuesday.
Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar produces the industry's
lowest cost photovoltaic solar modules, which turn sunlight
into electricity, at its factories in Germany, Malaysia and the
United States. It has new plants under construction in Vietnam
and the United States.
The company uses cadmium telluride in its modules, rather
than the silicon-based panels manufactured by most of its
(Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Dave Zimmerman)